Grapes are the sweet vine fruit we all know and love, as they provide us with both wine and a juicy “berry” perfect for snacking and cooking. Ranging in colour from green to red and deep purple and everywhere in between, there are over 3,000 varieties from those used for wine making to table grapes.
Grapes can be eaten fresh, frozen, grilled, baked, added into breads, cakes, or made into jam and jellies. A lush bunch of grapes is an essential addition to a cheese board, fruit or antipasto platter. They make the perfect addition to a fresh fruit salad.
Press grapes along with some rosemary into the dough when making focaccia. Grill them and top bruschetta with whipped ricotta or feta. Add grapes to some wine- braised chicken with capers and lemon. Grapes work beautifully with gamey poultry as well as many different salads, from those using bitter greens to a classic Kiwi version with iceberg.
Freeze grapes for a cocktail garnish or to add to sangria.
Grapes pair well with almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and autumn stone fruits as well as pear and lemon. Cumin, ginger, paprika and cayenne pepper also complement grapes as well as brandy, rum and cognac.
Imported grapes are available year-round in New Zealand. A limited amount of local, New Zealand grown grapes are available in autumn. Supply shifts throughout the year, encompassing Australian, Mexican, US and Chilean fruit.